You’ll be Shocked to know thoughts of Jawaharlal Nehru about Indian Army

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He did to Netaji Subash Chandra bose then same tactics he used with Army.

Yes when it comes to army and what he did to this glorified institution then he is one what I mentioned above.

This mindset of ignoring the advice of patriotic generals is not new. The first Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army, Field Marshal K. M. Cariappa’s biography by his son Air Marshal K. C. Cariappa gives such instances of the past.

Gen. Cariappa led the Indian Army in Kashmir during the first war with Pakistan in 1947. The author recalls his father often being asked why the army did not evict the frontier tribesmen who, supported by the Pakistan Army, attacked India. The General used to reiterate that the government dictated policy. The Army was quite confident of clearing Kashmir. But the orders were to “cease fire midnight 31st December/1st January 1948-49.”

Later, Gen. Cariappa asked Nehru the reasons for the ceasefire. “You see, U.N. Security Council felt that if we go any further it may precipitate a war. So, in response to their request we agreed to a ceasefire,” Nehru said. But he sportily added, “Quite frankly, looking back, we should have given you ten-fifteen days more. Things would have been different then.”

In 1951, Chinese troops were caught with maps showing parts of the North-East Frontier Agency as part of China. Gen. Cariappa cautioned Nehru of the likely attack by China. Nehru ridiculed him: “It is not for the Army to decide who the nation’s enemies would be.” Later in 1959, Gen. K.S. Thimmayya also warned of the threat from China. How sad that Nehru, under the spell of his friend and then Defence Minister Krishna Menon, ignored the warnings and faced a humiliating defeat by China in 1962.

File Photo

There can be no doubt about the patriotism of the two Generals. It must be mentioned that Gen. Cariappa’s only son was shot down while carrying out air attacks during the 1965 war with Pakistan and was taken prisoner. President Ayub Khan, former colleague of Gen. Cariappa, offered to release his son. The General’s terse reply was: “They [POWs] are all my sons, look after them well.”

Nehru and Krishna Menon conspired to discredit General Thimayya, setting in motion a chain of events that contributed to India’s rout in the Himalayas.

The Indian army experienced its worst ever defeat during the Indo-China conflict of 1962.

The political manoeuvring by Gandhi in 1938 to sideline Subhas Chandra Bose in the presidential race of the Congress Party virtually handed Nehru the Prime ministership of independent India. Bose was perhaps the only Indian political leader who understood the significance of armed power as an instrument of state policy while being aware of modern politics.

Nehru, unlike Bose and Patel, veered away from building military power. Although, when cornered, he was not averse to using it—as in the case of Kashmir in 1947-48 and then Goa in 1961—for the most part, he talked disarmament, non-alignment and Panchsheel. In a speech delivered at the Kerala Provisional Conference in 1928, Nehru had spelt out his international assessments: ‘No danger threatens India from any direction; and even if there is any danger we shall cope with it.’

No surprise then that when the first Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army, General Sir Rob Lockhart, went to Nehru with a formal defence paper that needed a policy directive from the prime minister, Nehru had exclaimed: ‘Rubbish! Total rubbish! We don’t need a defence policy. Our policy is ahimsa(non-violence). We foresee no military threats. As far as I am concerned you can scrap the army—the police are good enough to meet our security needs.’ It’s a different matter that Nehru had to eat his words by the end of October 1947 itself when the tribal hordes invaded Kashmir.

1962 Indo China war

Nehru was never comfortable with the armed forces his political indoctrination had instilled in him a desire to downgrade India’s officer cadre rather than tap their leadership potential and assimilate them into the machinery of government. This in turn created a vacuum in the decision-making chain, into which the civil servants stepped taking important military decisions that they were not equipped to handle.

To make matters worse, Nehru, along with other politicians, began to develop a deep-seated paranoia about the army.

Thimayya was acutely aware of the prime minister’s deep distrust of the military. Even before he took over from General S. M. Shrinagesh, Thimayya had made no bones about the fact that he was deeply distressed by the continuous neglect of the army. Publicly Nehru was seen to be fond of Timmy; however, behind his back, the prime minister adopted tactics that clearly indicated that he viewed Thimayya as a rival who could challenge his position as the undisputed head of the Indian Union. Given the general’s track record in World War II—Thimayya had been the first and only Indian officer to command a fighting brigade in the Arakan where he had been awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO)—and the role played by him in the Jammu and Kashmir Operations, Nehru knew he could not browbeat him.

Gen KS Thimayya

Timmy was universally respected. …The announcement of his impending appointment had led to an editorial comment in the Times of India: ‘A thrill has just passed through the Army. The signal has gone out that Timmy is on.’ In the meantime, just twenty days before Thimayya took charge of the army, Nehru had replaced the defence minister, Kailash Nath Katju, with Vengalil Krishnan Krishna Menon.

Nehru was waiting for Thimayya and for the first time, the normally reticent Timmy exchanged angry words with the prime minister. He told Nehru that his arbitrary decision of making NEFA(North East Frontier Agency now called Arunachal Pradesh) the responsibility of the army, made public in Parliament, was preposterous and completely against Indian interests. Thimayya felt that Nehru had completely compromised the army.

Without providing the additional resources required, handing over the borders to the army was a meaningless gesture; this would allow the Chinese the opportunity to claim that the Indians were the aggressors, for they always went to great pains to describe their own troops as border guards. Thimayya asked Nehru to find a way out of the mess in the next couple of weeks.

Nehru and Menon with Gen KS Thimayya

Nehru and Krishna Menon knew that the prime minister was in serious trouble. Thimayya wanted Nehru to undo the mistake; but should the prime minister formally withdraw his statement about deploying the army and revert to the previous arrangement, he would be committing political hara-kiri. The threat of Thimayya taking over the reins of government, at least in Nehru’s mind, was very real.

Politics is full of subterfuge, and survival… Not only did the Nehru-Menon team now have to survive, they had to neutralize Thimayya. Three days later, Krishna Menon sent for Thimayya in ‘a highly excited state of mind’ and vented his anger at the chief for having approached the prime minister directly, suggesting instead that the matter should have been resolved at his level. Threatening Thimayya of ‘possible political repercussions if the matter became public’ Krishna Menon ended the meeting. A seething Thimayya… promptly sent in his resignation letter.

The letter, which was received by Teen Murti on the afternoon of 31 August, was put up to Nehru who promptly sent for Thimayya in the afternoon.Especially since the problem with the Chinese had flared up, the matter of the resignation was deemed closed.

However, after Thimayya’s departure, news of his resignation was deliberately leaked to the media while the subsequent rescinding of the letter was held back. … Thimayya resignation made banner headlines the next morning.

Even today, the contents of Thimayya’s resignation letter remain a highly guarded secret. Instead, vague stories about Thimayya’s resignation were routinely floated where it was said that Timmy had resigned out of pique because of the manner in which Krishna Menon treated him. On careful scrutiny, that doesn’t hold water.

The much adored prime minister, who could do no wrong in the eyes of the public, had betrayed General Thimayya. Trapped in this bad situation, the chief had no option but to quietly endure the humiliation and get on with the job of trying to prepare the army to face the Chinese.

The prime minister’s attitude towards Thimayya was damaging to the chief as well as the army. General Thimayya was a seasoned, disciplined soldier who would hardly have made issues over trifles. After the resignation drama Thimayya was seen as an alarmist and a defeatist. Having thus weakened the office of the army chief, the prime minister now placed his hope in Lieutenant General B. M. ‘Bijji’ Kaul whose star was on the rise and for your information Lt.Gen Kaul was Nehru’s relative from Kashmir.

Just 15 day we would have not spent billions of dollar to maintain army in Kashmir which is already half with Pakistan and half with china. The stone pelting in Kashmir is the gift of Nehru.

This answer was written by Veteran Juby Mathew on Quora. You must follow him on Quora for some amazing inputs on the armed forces.

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